Sep 24, 2010

Fitness Friday: Health Rules 4

My next additions to our growing list of Health Rules, are focused primarily on fitness and exercise. After these, I believe it's time to start focusing on the mental and emotional aspect of fitness, health and weight loss... But until then:

6. Do intervals
Interval training is one of the best ways to maximize calorie burn, in a minimal amount of time. All you need is 20-25  minutes of interval training. I'll often do pyramids, start off with 30 secs of running, match it with 30 secs of walking at an incline, then build from 45 seconds, to 60, to 90, to 120, or as high as you want your peak to be before your pyramid begins to descend. And if you choose, you can repeat the process. Lately, however I've been doing straight 1:1 intervals; 1 min walk with a 1 min run at a high intensity, if that's too difficult try the pyramid or a 2:1 ratio, 1 min high intensity with a 2 min recover time.

7. Change up your gym routine
Perhaps you've heard the term "muscle memory," which normally refers to gaining back previous strength after a workout absence, well the memory still applies when it's being used regularly. In other words, to get the most out of your workout, you need to switch things up! Be it increasing weight, or repetitions or even doing each exercise in a different order every day. To avoid hitting a plateau, I change my routine completely every four weeks. From Jillian Micheals high-intensity circuits, to my most recent routine which focused on specific body parts on specific days: Mondays and Thursdays were devoted to upper body moves, Tuesdays were lower body weights and Fridays consisted of lower body plyometrics. After a month of following this formula, I turned to a fitness mag for ideas for my next training split, which I've been doing this past week, although I think I may find another plan before the month ends.

8. Record your training
Just like writing a food journal keeps yourself accountable for every bite you ingest, you should also keep keep a training log, that way you know exactly what you're expending. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose, but also the more calories you can and MUST take in. You need to fuel your body, remember that, you wouldn't want to reverse all the hard work you put in the gym by starving yourself and forcing your body to feed on its own muscle, would you?

Photo Credit: Philippe Halsman

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